Kurtz characterized the
abruptness of the sea-change that has taken place regarding the great mystery
of 9/11. "In a single day," he wrote in Friday’s Washington Post,
"the capital's media climate has been transformed," going from wide-eyed
acceptance of whatever guff government officials had to dish out to relentless
disdain for their every utterance:
pounded White House spokesman Ari Fleischer and national security adviser Condoleezza
Rice at briefings yesterday, skepticism and even indignation in their voices,
as they demanded detailed explanations. It was, in short, far different from the
tone of flag-bedecked networks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when President Bush,
riding a wave of popularity and patriotism, was treated with deference by the
media. Indeed, the administration likely never faced a more hostile press corps
all started on Wednesday night, when CBS
News broke the story: pre-9/11, President Bush had been briefed on the possibility
of a massive terrorist attack in the US involving airplane hijackings:
Bush was told in the months before the Sept. 11 attacks that Osama bin Laden's
terrorist network might hijack U.S. passenger planes information which prompted
the administration to issue an alert to federal agencies but not the American
an August 6 intelligence memo entitled "Bin
Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," the President had been informed
of the threat of airline hijackings planned by Al Qaeda. This admission was in
marked contrast to the line handed out by National Security advisor Condolezza
Rice, who had earlier indicated that the administration had been primarily focused
on threats to overseas American targets. The floodgates were opened, and a series
of stunning news reports soon inundated the global media:
turns out that, two months before the attack, the Phoenix office of the FBI had
written a memo warning
explicitly about Arab students enrolled at a local flight school – the
same one where Hani Hanjour, one of the 9/11 hijackers, had trained. The memo
named Bin Laden as the possible locus of a hijacking plot.
so happened that the draft of a plan to go after Al Qaeda had been completed
on September 10 – but that the President hadn’t yet seen it before Bin Laden struck
if to underscore the utter haplessness of our leaders, a September
1999 government report was unearthed: written by Rex A. Hudson and prepared
under the auspices of the Federal Research Division, the report gave
explicit warning of the suicide attack, eerily presaging both the method and
bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaida's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft
packed with high explosives (C-4 and semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters
of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House."
didn’t help matters much for the Bushies that people were remembering John Ashcroft’s
decision to stop flying commercial, last summer, in an entirely new light. As
a helpful reminder, Antiwar.com posted a July 26 CBS News report, "Ashcroft
Flying High," which noted that our Attorney General was now traveling
exclusively by chartered jet, because:
was a threat assessment and there are guidelines. He is acting under the guidelines,’
an FBI spokesman said. Neither the FBI nor the Justice Department, however, would
identify what the threat was, when it was detected or who made it."
Ari Fleischer could hardly fend off Helen "Doubting" Thomas, before
he was confronted with ABC correspondent Terry Moran, who demanded to know "Why
didn't [Bush] level with the American people about what he knew?" Putting
it in more immediate terms, Ron Fournier of the Associated Press asked Ms. Rice:
the American public have known these facts before they got on planes in the summer
and fall of last year?"
in all fairness, the Democrats are circling the President as election season approaches,
and there is every indication
that this is fast becoming a partisan issue. Yet, in this questioning atmosphere,
the Democrats are raising some important points. House Democratic leader Richard
Gephardt has it exactly right:
need to know what people knew, and when they knew it and what they did about it.
I don't know what the facts are."
who exemplifies the troglodyte faction of the Democratic party, is probably not
all that familiar with the Internet, and so we can understand if not forgive his
ignorance. For the CBS story was hardly the first indication that US officials
had some indication that a massive terrorist assault was about to take place on
the days following the attack, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
was reporting that US and Israeli intelligence had picked up indications via Echelon months in
advance, and that the British were also in the loop. And if you really want to
go waaaay back in the archives, check out this
1998 item reported by Matt Drudge:
Laden scare also is being felt domestically, intelligence sources tell Time
they have evidence that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet a strike
on Washington or possibly New York City in an eye-for-an-eye retaliation. 'We've
hit his headquarters, now he hits ours,' a State [sic] tells Time…
story developed, alright – and it is still developing. So let’s
keep googling this subject, and see what we come up with….
a hot clue from the September 16 [UK] Telegraph:
intelligence officials say that they warned their counterparts in the United States
last month that large-scale terrorist attacks on highly visible targets on the
American mainland were imminent….
Telegraph has learnt that two senior experts with Mossad, the Israeli military
intelligence service, were sent to Washington in August to alert the CIA and FBI
to the existence of a cell of as many of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a
just in time for the fabled August 6 memo, which the government still, as of this
writing [May 18], refuses to make public. What a … coincidence?
the wave of "revisionist" thinking on what happened in the months prior
to 9/11, and the new focus on who knew what when, our intrepid congressional investigators
are bound to stumble across what I call the
story of the century and others dismiss as an unproven
conspiracy theory. The story of Israel’s massive spy operation in the US, which
seems to break in waves that occur every few months, has broken yet again, this
time in Salon – and it has
never been more relevant.
I was the first to raise
the possibility of an Israeli connection to the events of 9/11, the story was
soon taken up by others, first
of all by Carl Cameron, of Fox News. Cameron’s four-part series
on Israel’s underground army of covert agents in the US showed that the Mossad
had the methods, the means, and the motive to acquire foreknowledge of the attacks.
The Israelis had infiltrated platoons
of intelligence agents into the U.S., including
explosives and electronic interception experts, under the guise of "art students"
selling artwork door-to-door. In the months prior to 9/11, these aspiring "artists"
apparently very busy. Cameron concludes:
is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators
suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in
advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are -quote
– ‘tie-ins.’ But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying,
– quote – ‘evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified.’"
sources told him that this information is "classified" – but enough
has already leaked out to give us some perspective, and a
sense of the context in which 9/11 occurred. As we draw closer to the 9/11
enigma, attention is now
on the crucial months prior to the worst terrorist attack in American history
– a time when Israel was conducting
a massive spy operation
in the U.S. In light of recent revelations, including the leaking of crucial
government documents, the confluence of these two events begins to make all
too much sense….
begin with, 9/11 was not entirely a "surprise attack," as we were led
to believe, but was anticipated – in some detail – by US officials, including
the President. If and when the August memo is released in its entirety, the source
of that information is bound to be revealed – and this is no doubt one reason
for the administration’s resistance to making it public. For the trail leads directly
to the Israelis, whose intelligence service was doing what ours should have been doing
all along: watching
the terrorists in our midst.
the Mossad has an alibi. For the Telegraph further indicates that the information
they provided wasn’t very helpful:
had no specific information about what was being planned but linked the plot to
Osama bin Laden and told the Americans that there were strong grounds for suspecting
Iraqi involvement,’ said a senior Israeli security official."
that the Iraqi connection has been debunked and
discredited, it is time to take the investigation in a new and heretofore
unexpected direction. I still can confidently state that, in spite of the new
revelations, Cynthia McKinney’s leftoid conspiracy theory – Bush knew, and
let 9/11 happen in order to enrich his friends in the Carlyle Group (and,
incidentally, start a world war) – is pure hokum. Bush and his subordinates are
telling the truth – of course they didn’t know when and where the attack
would come. The question is: who was in a position to know? Certainly not the
incompetents in Washington. The Israelis, however, came to Washington full of
vague warnings but what did they really know, and how did they
come to know it?
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